My blog has been dormant for the past four months as I have had to struggle with lymphoma (a type of leukemia.) In April, by the time the diagnosis had been verified and treatment could commence, I was a bag of skin and bone and could hardly stand upright. At the time chemo–therapy started, I became bed-bound, could not sit up unaided and my brain was total mush. With all powers of concentration and application out of the window, I was unable even to read, let alone understand, an article in the local paper.
Now, three months later, I am half-way through my treatment. My brain is once again functional, albeit slower than it was last year. I can, walk, drive and do the shopping. In short, I seem to be well on the road to recovery. I tell you all this, as everyone should be aware of the most hopeful strides in cancer treatment that are now being made around the world. Had I been afflicted just a couple of years ago, I would have had no hope of survival.
As my recovery has progressed, I have had much time for reflection. What is it that I wish to achieve in the years remaining to me?
Having long been well acquainted with the politics and history of the Middle East, I was deeply affected by the 2003 American assault on Iraq. It illustrated to me the urgent need to replace the then, and still prevailing, international Law of the Jungle, in which might (and the ability to manipulate the media) give ‘right.’) The urgent requirement is for a system of global governance appropriate to a now globalised world. The UNO, as currently constituted, was designed not to be, and remains, not up to the task.
While struggling to run a business in New Zealand, I became preoccupied and actively engaged in the still minuscule movement of those striving for an effective system of global governance. Later, as the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on my family business diminished, I was able to embark on a personal journey of discovery through the blogosphere in search of a better understanding of the human condition and the interaction between it and the international political system. In 2014, as a record of my journey (and as much for my own enlightenment as for that of others) I started the Khakispecs blog.
Clearly, the blog has not been effective; despite my endeavours and ever since the initial post, the World’s situation and, with it, Humanity’s prospect for long-term survival has continued to deteriorate! My own efforts, like those of multiple other and far more effective, writers dealing with the problem, appear to be making scant impression on the situation.
Last year, before my illness came to dominate, I wrote a book “A country like New Zealand could save the World.” Though written with no hope of it ever being acted upon under prevailing political and economic circumstances, the book contains the outline of an action plan to save humanity from the twin perils of rapid climate change and nuclear war. The challenge facing all of us is to avert those perils.
Before I became incapacitated, I had time to arrange for the printing of 100 hard copies of the book and post them to progressive members of the NZ parliament. After that, as the illness took its hold, all attempts to market the book became impossible. Not only did I lack finance, but also all energy and ability to focus on the job in hand. Now, I am well enough to settle down to the technicalities involved, I have been able to publish the book on Amazon. (15th July) https://www.amazon.com/s?k=a+country+like+new+zealand+could+save+the+world&rh=n%3A154606011&ref=nb_sb_noss To this end, I have had to write a blurb advertising the book. Here it is:-
At a time of rising, selfish nationalism, this book is about global governance. It advocates the inevitable logic of erecting a ‘United Nations,’ multi-national institution to effectively make and implement those decisions that cannot peaceably and effectively be taken or implemented unilaterally by national governments within a globalised community of nations.
Based on a series of blogs dealing with world governance and global affairs, ‘A country like New Zealand could save the World’ offers a small nation’s action plan to eliminate the ever increasing existential threats posed by global climate change and/or the consequences of nuclear conflict. Though the book specifies New Zealand as a model, the same proposal could be equally well applied to several other small nations.
The author is a New Zealander with a UK degree in Politics and Foreign Affairs. After an early career in the British military and many years in business, he takes New Zealand as an example of what could be achieved by that country, or by any of several other such small members of the global community. But first, the citizenry of that country has to develop a political leadership with the flexibility and courage to take the necessary steps.
The first goal has to involve the public’s awareness and acceptance of the societal and economic changes required. For New Zealand, this would involve nurturing domestic media at the expense of their current control by the socially disinterested, international entertainment industry. At a time when only a sea-change in national culture would achieve the adjustments appropriate to the fast deteriorating situation, this concentration of power in so few and almost entirely foreign hands, opens New Zealand’s public and politicians to manipulation by powers with divergent interests and agendas.
Once national opinion is based on a realistic appreciation of its situation, a constitutional convention can be called and constitutional amendments made to ensure greater public buy-in to the difficult political decisions that the developing crises will call for.
When the first paradigm nation can speak with the authority of having successfully achieved the first two phases of the four point plan proposed (a well-informed public and a constitution that attends to their views) the paradigm will be open to spread to other states facing the same perils that now face all of humanity.
Only with the development of sufficient mass determination within its international membership, can a realistic attempt to reform the United Nations Organisation be instigated. Alternatively, if such attempts continue to be thwarted by current vested great power interests, the UN could be replaced with a parallel and more effective organisation.
The rest of my active life will be devoted to attempts to further the action plan and will be the subject of my next blog.